Binoculars as a camera lens

I spent some time today at Pheasant Branch Conservancy shooting some footage for a video on digiscoping. While there, I spent some time experimenting with a camera adapter designed for use with Swarovski binoculars. The Snap Shot adapter is a simple accessory that snaps on to the eyecup of the binoculars and helps hold a point-and-shoot camera to the binocular's lens.

Above is a photo of a Monarch Butterfly that I shot through a Swarovski 8.5x42 EL with my Sony camera. I was very pleased with the results and think I might try some more of this digibining in the future, though it's no substitute for the magnification of a spotting scope.


Kevin said...


Nice little toy, prob good for close range.

tigger said...

Great photo, Ben!

Does EO have any plans to make such an adapter to fit their Ranger Bins? Will the Swaro work with them? I have tried just holding a camera to the eye cups but the shake of doing so distorts the photo more than what I consider acceptable. But for those of us who aren't ready to drop 2 grand on a scope before getting a bit more experience into the art of digiscoping, an adapter sounds like a great way to start.

Keep up the good work on your blog - I always enjoy reading it!

Ben Lizdas said...

Thanks for the comments. I'm glad you enjoy the blog.
The Swaro adapter only works with their binos and at the time, I don't know of any similar adapters being developed for other brands, including our own Ranger binos. Even with the Snap Shot adapter, managing the shakiness was a challenge. Like anything, the more I used it, the easier it got.

Ben Lizdas said...

Yeah, the snap-shot adapter works well for closer objects and in a pinch when you don't have a scope on hand but want to document something. It's no substitute for your standard digiscoping rig though.

Dale Forbes said...

Hi Ben, I have just found this blog entry now (many months after the fact). I do quite a lot of digibinning and blog about it every now and again.

the trick is to make sure that everything is nice and tight (so that it fits together as a single system) and to hold the binoculars vertically (unlike in the promo photos) - this will allow you to get a more stable setup. bump up the iso to get a good shutter speed and take lots of photos.

I use it most when I am out on long hikes and dont have my regular digiscoping setup with me (I was on an 11 hour hike in the mountains yesterday and got some great Ptarmigan shots with it!)

Happy birding

Ben Lizdas said...

Thanks for the tip Dave!

Jeff - Birds Binoculars said...

I have seen these things advertised and wondered if they worked as well as they claimed to.

The pics are stunning and may have me rethink the investment.